Back in the summer I had agreed to an involuntary stay on an acute psychiatric ward due to deterioration in my mental health.
During my stay I was allocated a psychiatrist and a psychologist. I was given a bed in a room with three other people which made me feel anxious as in the present state I was in, I did not want to engage with anybody. Anxiety also took over when I found out we all used the same sink and door handle. It was during this point I was asking staff for alcohol wipes so I could wipe myself and everything I possibly could down. I felt disgusting and dirty and even more so when I was told I was only allowed to use alcohol wipes limited times during the day.
Meal times for me was where I suffered most of my panic attacks. The first meal I ever had there, they served it on a hospital plate and cutlery, I could feel my face burning and felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I refused to eat it however staff continued to encourage me in room full of other patients who I felt was staring at me (although this was probably just me). I started to cry to the point where I couldn’t breathe and in my mind this confirmed for me that I shouldn’t be alive. It backed up all my suicidal thoughts.
There was no engagement activities in the hospital to even try to keep my mind off things, I needed something to do especially when my thoughts were racing and suicidal thoughts were flooding my mind … Fast. There was nothing. Staff were around if you began to really struggle however they were also busy as there were a ward full of other patients who also needed help. It was hard being on the ward as there were lots of poorly patients as well as myself which meant sometimes the ward became a tense environment to be in. I found this became a trigger for me.
There were times in hospital I never thought I would make it through to the next day. In fact there were times I nearly didn’t make it and if it wasn’t for staff I wouldn’t be sat here writing this now. Still I am thankful for life, thankful to be sitting here. No matter how suicidal I get, I am always grateful for another chance and grateful for any help I receive at that time.
OCD really took hold of me around the period of my hospital stay … It still takes hold of me now but with support I hope to lessen it’s grip. In hospital nearly every ten minutes I was Left with the pressure of thinking if I didn’t do a particular thing then something bad would happen. I found this very distressing and so hard to deal with. I was consumed by it and at every moment I was panicking and trying to focus to make sure I did everything I had to do so nothing would happen.
It was hard to concentrate in hospital. Every time I became distressed I was offered prn lorazepam which did help with my thoughts however also made me lethargic and tired which affected me in a different way as I was already struggling with getting out of bed due to my depression. I felt it was a vicious circle sometimes.
My stay lasted 5 weeks before I was discharged for a week. This, however was only to be re-admitted a week later. This was possibly my worst admission. Completely withdrawn, nervous at every second of the day, always felt suicidal and completely consumed again by OCD and self harming.
I saw no point in being alive and was planning my death at every moment. I hit crisis point nearly every two days and there was talk of sending me somewhere a bit more secure.
Fortunately I did not get sent somewhere more secure as I had CBT sessions which began to help me cope with my feelings and de-escalated my presentation from what it was. As I started to feel a bit more positive I realised just how still the ward was and how there was no activity whatsoever apart from maybe some bracelet making occasionally or a game of pool of staff were not busy. It was two weeks I stayed and then got discharged with my care moving back up country with me.
I had feelings of relief that I was in that building no more. I missed the simple things, the fresh air, the smell of fresh cut grass and the smell of my mums cooking. I longed to be home.